Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tales of integrity Part 2

Continuing from the previous post, and as it turns out, the rumor was absolutely unsubstantiated. Interestingly enough, it was eerily similar to my own experience.

Perhaps some day, someone would be patient enough to provide some insight as to what drives such demented individuals from spreading lies and FUD.

On the other hand, I've heard of people who offer free retunes if they do not improve upon a customer's car. The idea is that if this person does not increase your car by X horsepower from the baseline run, you don't have to pay anything. Such actions are operating on shaky ethical grounds and casts a long shadow on the professionalism of the industry as a whole.

First, the con artist usually owns the dyno facility, thus he is able to influence the base and subsequent dyno runs. Second, the con artist has full access to the ECU. This is akin to stealing someone else's intellectual property and passing it off as one's own. Even if the owner has full knowledge of such shenanigans, the con artist may not have a full appreciation of the situation as to why the car was not running at optimal states e.g. retarded spark advance at certain map points to avoid knock until the cause of the problem is determined. And thus it would appear that the "tuner" and the customer are both at fault.

So it seems that some customers are playing the tuners against each other, to great effect. And some tuners have no sense of professional ethics. Perhaps it's time that the tuners themselves get organized to settle such disputes and minimize these sort of situations altogether.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tales of integrity (or lack thereof)

Mud-slinging and FUD has always been part of the aftermarket performance industry. Lately I've been hearing about how someone is passing off open source software as proprietary software. As an outsider to this situation, no clear conclusions can be drawn as I've also had disputes before; it's all part of the game.

Several years ago, I had the "pleasure" of having a so-called "friend" buy an aftermarket ECU from me at cost price, inclusive of the tuning etc. He was very pleased with the results and didn't seem to be dissatisfied at all, despite the typical teething problems with having a custom calibration done from scratch. When everything was completed he claimed that his finances were in disarray and so gave me a post-dated cheque of 1 month.

Within the week I started hearing rumors passed behind my back about my "poor job" done on the car; upon receiving this info I contacted him to enquire about his car, even going so far as to refund the cheque if he's not happy with things. He insisted that everything was OK but the rumors continued to persist. In the meantime I began to collate information about what he was saying behind my back, with SMS and MSN logs as proof. As this is going on remember I could not cash in the cheque!

Even after cashing in the cheque, the offer to refund the sum still stood, yet this person declined to come and meet me like a man, preferring to cast aspersions from behind a veil of deceit. It's unbelievable that this is how a so-called devout Christian behaves.

It's OK though. I rest easy at night because my conscience is clear. On the other hand, he has reason to fear, since I know where he lives. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Out of 700+K (and counting!) players world-wide. Need to work on the Exhibition Rollup next.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

WMSC's flimsy case against McLaren

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not an F1 fan. At the rate things are going, I don't know if I want to even know what goes on in F1 anymore.

This is the WMSC's decision against McLaren (pdf) Some excerpts:


8.4 McLaren has made detailed submissions indicating that none of the information received enhanced the McLaren car. McLaren has suggested to the WMSC that unless “actual use” and a demonstrated and itemised performance advantage can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e. to a criminal law standard of proof), the WMSC is not permitted at law to impose a penalty.

8.5 The WMSC rejects this suggestion. The WMSC has full jurisdiction to apply Article 151(c) and stresses that it is not necessary for it to demonstrate that any confidential Ferrari information was directly copied by McLaren or put to direct use in the McLaren car to justify a finding that Article 151(c) was breached and/or that a penalty is merited. Nor does the WMSC need to show that any information improperly held led to any specifically identified sporting advantage, or indeed any advantage at all. Rather, the WMSC is entitled to treat possession of another team’s information as an offence meriting a penalty on its own if it so chooses.

8.12 The evidence leads the WMSC to conclude that some degree of sporting advantage was obtained, though it may forever be impossible to quantify that advantage in concrete terms.


So if a Ferrari waterboy were to tell his counterpart at McLaren that Kimi is using the Port-A-Potty before the race, the WMSC can take action. Excellent reasoning.

This is a witch hunt, plain and simple. Let's say a competing golf club manufacturer somehow managed to get hold of the technical plans behind Tiger Woods's clubs. In all other respects these competing clubs are within the specifications laid down by the rules. Would the PGA apply sanctions against this company? Ludicrous isn't it?

Another example. In other team sports such as American football or pro basketball, there are offensive and defensive playbooks which are crucial to a team's continued success. These playbooks have been known to go MIA but you don't see the sport's governing body coming down hard on the suspects. The same standards should apply in this particular case.

If Ferrari were to lose confidential information due to a disgruntled employee, then they should keep their own house in order before laying the blame on others. Unfortunately this is the reality of the world we live in; we look to blame others instead of looking at ourselves first.

Friday, September 14, 2007

AEM 50 psia (3.5 bar) MAP sensor

AEM 50 psia (3.5 bar) MAP sensor. Product id: 30-2130-50. Polynomial trendline (R2=1):

y = -0.0012x2 +85.036x -42.509; where y (kPa), x (V)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Found out recently that that a law enforcement officer cannot compel you to provide identification unless you're reasonably suspected of having committed a crime. So if you're minding your own business and a cop comes up to you and asks for ID, you are within your rights to just provide a name and address. You do not have to show him your IC. If you provide an overseas address, then you may be placed under arrest until it can be verified. (CPC, Sec 33-3).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Taleban 'getting Chinese weapons'

That's the headline of a recent BBC news article. Sure hope it's not anything like this mortar: